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Corey T. Walker, S. Harrison Farber, Tyler S. Cole, David S. Xu, Jakub Godzik, Alexander C. Whiting, Cory Hartman, Randall W. Porter, Jay D. Turner and Juan Uribe

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive anterolateral retroperitoneal approaches for lumbar interbody arthrodesis have distinct advantages attractive to spine surgeons. Prepsoas or transpsoas trajectories can be employed with differing complication profiles because of the inherent anatomical differences encountered in each approach. The evidence comparing them remains limited because of poor quality data. Here, the authors sought to systematically review the available literature and perform a meta-analysis comparing the two techniques.

METHODS

A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A database search was used to identify eligible studies. Prepsoas and transpsoas studies were compiled, and each study was assessed for inclusion criteria. Complication rates were recorded and compared between approach groups. Studies incorporating an analysis of postoperative subsidence and pseudarthrosis rates were also assessed and compared.

RESULTS

For the prepsoas studies, 20 studies for the complications analysis and 8 studies for the pseudarthrosis outcomes analysis were included. For the transpsoas studies, 39 studies for the complications analysis and 19 studies for the pseudarthrosis outcomes analysis were included. For the complications analysis, 1874 patients treated via the prepsoas approach and 4607 treated with the transpsoas approach were included. In the transpsoas group, there was a higher rate of transient sensory symptoms (21.7% vs 8.7%, p = 0.002), transient hip flexor weakness (19.7% vs 5.7%, p < 0.001), and permanent neurological weakness (2.8% vs 1.0%, p = 0.005). A higher rate of sympathetic nerve injury was seen in the prepsoas group (5.4% vs 0.0%, p = 0.03). Of the nonneurological complications, major vascular injury was significantly higher in the prepsoas approach (1.8% vs 0.4%, p = 0.01). There was no difference in urological or peritoneal/bowel injury, postoperative ileus, or hematomas (all p > 0.05). A higher infection rate was noted for the transpsoas group (3.1% vs 1.1%, p = 0.01). With regard to postoperative fusion outcomes, similar rates of subsidence (12.2% prepsoas vs 13.8% transpsoas, p = 0.78) and pseudarthrosis (9.9% vs 7.5%, respectively, p = 0.57) were seen between the groups at the last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Complication rates vary for the prepsoas and transpsoas approaches owing to the variable retroperitoneal anatomy encountered during surgical dissection. While the risks of a lasting motor deficit and transient sensory disturbances are higher for the transpsoas approach, there is a reciprocal reduction in the risks of major vascular injury and sympathetic nerve injury. These results can facilitate informed decision-making and tailored surgical planning regarding the choice of minimally invasive anterolateral access to the spine.

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Travis J. Atchley, Nicholas M. B. Laskay, Brandon A. Sherrod, A. K. M. Fazlur Rahman, Harrison C. Walker and Barton L. Guthrie

OBJECTIVE

Infection and erosion following implantable pulse generator (IPG) placement are associated with morbidity and cost for patients with deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems. Here, the authors provide a detailed characterization of infection and erosion events in a large cohort that underwent DBS surgery for movement disorders.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed consecutive IPG placements and replacements in patients who had undergone DBS surgery for movement disorders at the University of Alabama at Birmingham between 2013 and 2016. IPG procedures occurring before 2013 in these patients were also captured. Descriptive statistics, survival analyses, and logistic regression were performed using generalized linear mixed effects models to examine risk factors for the primary outcomes of interest: infection within 1 year or erosion within 2 years of IPG placement.

RESULTS

In the study period, 384 patients underwent a total of 995 IPG procedures (46.4% were initial placements) and had a median follow-up of 2.9 years. Reoperation for infection occurred after 27 procedures (2.7%) in 21 patients (5.5%). No difference in the infection rate was observed for initial placement versus replacement (p = 0.838). Reoperation for erosion occurred after 16 procedures (1.6%) in 15 patients (3.9%). Median time to reoperation for infection and erosion was 51 days (IQR 24–129 days) and 149 days (IQR 112–285 days), respectively. Four patients with infection (19.0%) developed a second infection requiring a same-side reoperation, two of whom developed a third infection. Intraoperative vancomycin powder was used in 158 cases (15.9%) and did not decrease the infection risk (infected: 3.2% with vancomycin vs 2.6% without, p = 0.922, log-rank test). On logistic regression, a previous infection increased the risk for infection (OR 35.0, 95% CI 7.9–156.2, p < 0.0001) and a lower patient BMI was a risk factor for erosion (BMI ≤ 24 kg/m2: OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.1–8.6, p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

IPG-related infection and erosion following DBS surgery are uncommon but clinically significant events. Their respective timelines and risk factors suggest different etiologies and thus different potential corrective procedures.

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Travis J. Atchley, Galal A. Elsayed, Blake Sowers, Harrison C. Walker, Gustavo Chagoya, Matthew C. Davis, Joshua D. Bernstock, Nidal B. Omar, Daxa M. Patel and Barton L. Guthrie

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to determine the incidence of seizures following deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrode implantation and to evaluate factors associated with postoperative seizures.

METHODS

The authors performed a single-center retrospective case-control study. The outcome of interest was seizure associated with DBS implantation. Univariate analyses were performed using the Student t-test for parametric continuous outcomes. The authors used the Kruskal-Wallis test or Wilcoxon rank-sum test for nonparametric continuous outcomes, chi-square statistics for categorical outcomes, and multivariate logistic regression for binomial variables.

RESULTS

A total of 814 DBS electrode implantations were performed in 645 patients (478 [58.7%] in men and 520 [63.9%] in patients with Parkinson’s disease). In total, 22 (3.4%) patients who had undergone 23 (2.8%) placements experienced seizure. Of the 23 DBS implantation–related seizures, 21 were new-onset seizures (3.3% of 645 patients) and 2 were recurrence or worsening of a prior seizure disorder. Among the 23 cases with postimplantation-related seizure, epilepsy developed in 4 (17.4%) postoperatively; the risk of DBS-associated epilepsy was 0.50% per DBS electrode placement and 0.63% per patient. Nine (39.1%) implantation-related seizures had associated postoperative radiographic abnormalities. Multivariate analyses suggested that age at surgery conferred a modest increased risk for postoperative seizures (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02–1.10). Sex, primary diagnosis, electrode location and sidedness, and the number of trajectories were not significantly associated with seizures after DBS surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Seizures associated with DBS electrode placement are uncommon, typically occur early within the postoperative period, and seldom lead to epilepsy. This study suggests that patient characteristics, such as age, may play a greater role than perioperative variables in determining seizure risk. Multiinstitutional studies may help better define and mitigate the risk of seizures after DBS surgery.

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Victor W. Sung, Ray L. Watts, Christian J. Schrandt, Stephanie Guthrie, Deli Wang, Amy W. Amara, Barton L. Guthrie and Harrison C. Walker

Object

While many centers place bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems simultaneously, unilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS followed by a staged contralateral procedure has emerged as a treatment option for many patients. However, little is known about whether the preoperative phenotype predicts when staged placement of a DBS electrode in the opposite STN will be required. The authors aimed to determine whether preoperative clinical phenotype predicts early staged placement of a second STN DBS electrode in patients who undergo unilateral STN DBS for Parkinson disease (PD).

Methods

Eighty-two consecutive patients with advanced PD underwent unilateral STN DBS contralateral to the most affected hemibody and had at least 2 years of follow-up. Multivariate logistic regression analysis determined preoperative characteristics that predicted staged placement of a second electrode in the opposite STN. Preoperative measurements included aspects of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), motor asymmetry index, and body weight.

Results

At 2-year follow-up, 28 (34%) of the 82 patients had undergone staged placement of a contralateral electrode while the remainder chose to continue with unilateral stimulation. Statistically significant improvements in UPDRS total and Part 3 scores were retained at the end of the 2-year follow-up period in both subsets of patients. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the most important predictors for early staged placement of a second subthalamic stimulator were low asymmetry index (OR 13.4, 95% CI 2.8–64.9), high tremor subscore (OR 7.2, CI 1.5–35.0), and low body weight (OR 5.5, 95% CI 1.4–22.3).

Conclusions

This single-center study provides evidence that elements of the preoperative PD phenotype predict whether patients will require early staged bilateral STN DBS. These data may aid in the management of patients with advanced PD who undergo STN DBS.